Students gathered for an informal conversation

Structure of our PhD program

Our 5-year program is organized in two main parts. The coursework and orientation period (first 16 months) and the dissertation research period (3,5 years). See below for a detailed overview.

The program is organized by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, in cooperation with its partner universities situated in Kiel, Hamburg, Berlin, and Paris. Importantly, the Kiel Institute does not confer doctoral degrees; instead, candidates obtain their doctoral degrees from the university with which their primary supervisor is affiliated. For students enrolled in Kiel University, you will matriculate into the well-established Quantitative Economics graduate track (see details). Kiel University PhD students that pass the Kiel Institute program will automatically qualify for a doctoral degree and no extra courses need to be taken.

September 2024 to February 2025 | Core courses and math camp: 

In the first 6 months of the program students attend the core graduate level courses in

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Econometrics

To set the stage, the program starts with a math preparation camp in the first week of September.

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March to July 2025 | Advanced Studies courses in Kiel

In the spring term, students take up to 8 short courses that are typically a week long, mostly from excellent external professors. These advanced course will focus on international economics, in particular

  • International trade
  • International macroeconomics and finance
  • International development
  • Various topics courses (e.g. machine learning, network theory, or programming courses)

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September - December 2025 | Develop your research ideas and find a supervisor. 

During the autumn term, you will have the opportunity to develop your research agenda. This means to generate ideas together with both your peers and external/internal professors. Additionally, it is advisable to identify a supervisor during this period and make preparations to become part of a research team at the Kiel Institute.

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Once their supervisor is agreed on the research center chosen, doctoral students will have ample time to work on their research projects and dissertation, and contribute to the research activities of the Kiel Institute. The main workplace could either be at the Kiel headquarters or at the Berlin office.

By the summer of 2028 you should complete a job market paper and we will give you guidance to optimally prepare for the international job market for economists. You will be granted your degree in the summer of 2029, in the hope that you will then soon start a new research job, e.g. as an assistant professor.